Omar I. Abdel-Wahab, MD: 2011 & 2014 ASH Scholar
|Assistant Member-Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP)
Attending Physician Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY
On Receiving the Scholar Award
When I received the Scholar Award, I was elated. It is a very prestigious award among the hematology community…For me, the most important thing about the Scholar Award is that it shows acknowledgement from the leadership in the field of hematology, that what you’re doing is important and that they want to support you
My Scholar Award project was on hairy cell leukemia, which is kind of a rare form of leukemia. I thought it was a really fascinating topic; but I was really shocked that I got the award, to be honest, because of the topic. I think the people who reviewed my application understood that it was interesting, scientifically, and that it had medical importance as well. The likelihood of that being funded from a more general scientific organization was not likely to happen. ASH understands the importance of diseases which might be seen as rare or not well studied by general medical audiences.
When I first got the ASH Scholar Award, I was a post-doctoral research fellow in someone else’s lab. I was a trainee, not a faculty member. Since that time, I’ve developed my own independent lab and my own independent group, and I have my own set of trainees. Quite a bit has changed for me in that regard.